University of Missouri

Game report: No. 12 Florida 21, Missouri 3

Missouri’s Kentrell Brothers (right) pushed Florida running back Kelvin Taylor out of bounds in the first half Saturday night in Columbia. Brothers finished with 15 tackles.
Missouri’s Kentrell Brothers (right) pushed Florida running back Kelvin Taylor out of bounds in the first half Saturday night in Columbia. Brothers finished with 15 tackles. The Associated Press

First quarter

Key play: Missouri freshman defensive end Nate Howard committed a late-hit personal foul on Florida’s first touchdown drive and freshman defensive tackle threw in a facemask personal foul on the next TD drive.

Key stat: Florida scored a touchdown on its opening drive, one of two 1-yard touchdown runs by Kelvin Taylor in the quarter. It was the Gators’ first opening-drive touchdown since a loss to South Carolina in November 2013, a span of 19 games.

Second quarter

Key play: Florida junior safety Marcus Maye made a diving grab along Missouri’s sideline for Drew Lock’s second interception of the season, but the Gators didn’t make it hurt when Jorge Powell missed a 36-yard field goal.

Key stat: Florida, which went four of eight on third down, had possession for 19:31 of the first half, while Missouri, which failed on all five third downs, only had possession for 10:29.

Third quarter

Key play: Quarterback Drew Lock stared down tight end Jason Reese on an out route, which Jalen Tabor jumped and returned 40 yards for a touchdown.

Key stat: Missouri ran 20 plays, picking up 22 yards and one first down in the quarter.

Fourth quarter

Key play: On fourth-and-6 early in the quarter, Lock was drilled by Jon Bullard as he tried to deliver a ball downfield and Missouri turned the ball over on downs.

Key stat: Missouri finished one of 14 on third down.

The grades

Offense

F

Drew Lock took a beating, Missouri managed only 257 yards and the first third-down conversion came with 36 seconds left.

Defense

B-

Missouri settled down after the first quarter and limited Florida to 337 yards, including 201 during the last three periods.

Special teams

C+

Punter Corey Fatony, who averaged 47.8 yards, was a bright spot for Missouri.

Coaching

D

Missouri’s lacked balance and often seemed flustered and confused on offense, but the defense played well after a poor start.

Takeaways

Player of the game: Senior linebacker Kentrell Brothers continued his all-conference season with 15 tackles, including a sack.

Reason to hope: Missouri doesn’t play Florida again this season.

Reason to mope: The loss was MU’s second in three SEC games.

Looking ahead: Missouri hits the road for two straight conference games, including a tussle between the hedges next Saturday at Georgia against a Bulldogs team that will be without stud tailback Nick Chubb.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

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